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Old 06-23-2018, 02:20 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect

OK, found out the hard way that the battery disconnect doesn't fully disconnect the batteries on 2017 34RL2. After a month in storage had to jump the trailer with truck to raise for hitching. So, I am planning on adding a disconnect at the batteries. This is a 2 battery setup with 12 volt batteries in parallel. I guess I could use two disconnects, on on each negative and leave it wired as is. Right now the trailer and charger are on pos of battery 1 and neg of battery 2. Then inverter is on pos of battery 2 and neg of battery 1. however, would it be OK to have all three on pos of 1 and neg of 2 and have just one disconnect switch for neg of 2. I thought this might happen but figured there was only one way to find out if factory switch was all that was necessary
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:29 PM   #2
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I just keep a socket and wrench next to my batteries. takes me all of 5 seconds to pop the negatives off both batteries. I was going to add a disconncect but the landing gear and accessory lights come off the battery before the panel so there still would of been draw.

Popping the negatives off so far has been the free and easy was for me to do it on my unit.
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimber45 View Post
I just keep a socket and wrench next to my batteries. takes me all of 5 seconds to pop the negatives off both batteries. I was going to add a disconncect but the landing gear and accessory lights come off the battery before the panel so there still would of been draw.

Popping the negatives off so far has been the free and easy was for me to do it on my unit.

Thanks, that would work for me if I turn the batteries around. That certainly would be cheap and easy!
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:37 PM   #4
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I used a marine rotating battery disconnect. Works great and fully disconnects my 4 6 volt batteries from each other and the electrical system. 2 6 volt batteries are wired in series then the positive side of each bank wired to the disconnect switch. The hot from the battery disconnect then goes to the large fuse.

The battery disconnect switch allows me to switch to either bank or both banks in parallel. Yours would be the same with two 12 volt batteries. The ground sides on each bank are wired to each other then to a ground block connected to the frame. Ground is not switched.

Very convenient. No wrench required but not free. Use marine battery disconnect because they are built to handle a load of several hundred amps when starting a large engine. Good stuff. Put the switch near the batteries and near the large fuse to keep the battery cables short as possible. The switch that came with the camper is still in place but I never switch it off. Just rotate the new battery disconnect to off whenever I store the camper. Batteries sit all winter in the camper and are 100% in the spring.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:49 PM   #5
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There was just a large debate on if the disconnect should be on the positive or negative terminals, I will leave that to you, but you only need one switch either on wire that goes to vehicle ground ( my choice) or positive wire that heads off to converter. Don't forget to include the other wires that may go to stabilizers etc.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:19 AM   #6
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U use one of these.

https://www.amazon.ca/BEP-701-Batter...l_8exy89oyaz_e
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:53 PM   #7
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This is the one I used so the to banks are isolated when turned off. This prevents one weeker battery from discharging the other if left alone for an extended period if time.

Blue Sea Heavy Duty Red Battery Cut Off Isolator Switch With Removeable Knob For Two Batteries https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JWZCY5S..._8QzmBbHK8G7Z2
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:23 AM   #8
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I too use a battery disconnect switch on the negative cable, haven't had any issues since.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:00 AM   #9
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I was curious about the negative vs positive switching comments. I fully understand that to prevent battery drain we need 1) to interrupt current flow and 2) in the case of multiple battery banks, isolated each bank when not in use. Switching either negative or positive accomplished both objectives equally.

Well, did a little research to understand the contraversy and there is one very important difference which I completely overlooked. From a safety perspective, switching positive increases the risk of an accidental short circuit between a high current positive side of the battery and chassis ground. That could mean a fire.

Here's why. The increased risk is simply a result of the additional positively charged switching mechanism and or additional positive wires surrounded by the negatively charged chassis. In the case of multiple battery banks and depending on where you put the switch, you could have two hot wires now leaving the battery box instead of one doubling the chance of a short from a chafed wire. Additionally the switch itself increases the positively charged metal surface area increasing opportunity for a short.

Of course, it's obvious when you think about it. Thanks folks, your completely right! Switch negative for sure, much safer especially in something that will be energized while bouncing down the road. I'll change mine to be negatively switched. Good call!

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Old 07-01-2018, 08:37 PM   #10
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Good points on not switching positive. Years ago I had a blade type switch come apart on chassis battery of motorhome. So it does happen.

Thanks again to all for the suggestions,
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:43 PM   #11
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While I am working on a disconnect switch installation I currently have it in storage with all negatives pulled off as suggested earlier. I am trying to figure out why they discharged in the first place. It appears the factory disconnect switch is on positive side as the wire in and out of it is red. I would imagine this is the coach 12 volt pos feed. The other two connections to battery are the WFCO WF-5100 inverter and WF-9800 converter/charger. The converter/charger should just be one way and that's into battery when AC shore power connected That leaves the inverter which was definitely turned off but must still be a drain, even the LCD screen is blank when it is turned off. Anybody have any thoughts about this?
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:40 PM   #12
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This issue has been puzzling me too. I have a 2018 Cedar Creek 36 CK2 and I guess I assumed that when the battery shutoff key was disconnected that there would be no draw. Period! Also, since my previous RV purchase was 11 years prior, I thought it was about time there was a fix for this.
Of course, I was wrong. There is still a draw. Here's the question: What is actually ON and drawing power after the shutoff key? Why even have a shutoff key/switch if your batteries still die..???
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:04 PM   #13
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On our 2018 33ik we installed a disconnect at the battery. The hydraulic pump, auto level, and invertor all have some draw on the batteries when not in use, regardless of the factory disconnect. The other benefit is it disables the auto level so no one can tamper with it while the battery compartment is locked.


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Old 07-03-2018, 09:33 AM   #14
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That's interesting that the Hydraulic system is tapped before the cutoff switch. This probably keeps the wires shorter for a high power circuit and also the cutoff switch can be a lower amp (cheaper) switch. Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:58 PM   #15
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All batteries discharge even without anything connected to the terminals. Minimize by disconnecting the positive terminals during the "utilization" season and taking the batteries out during storage season and putting a slow charge on about every month.
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